I find mentoring partnership to be a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. It is an opportunity to develop skills, share our experiences, viewpoints and consider new ways of approaching situations. As I share my professional experiences and stories, I relive those experiences and learn from them again.
As an HR professional, I have participated as a mentor in programs offered by CPHR Alberta, SAIT, UAHRMA, and now with ERIEC. Your profession might offer such opportunities. Check with various institutions and organizations of your interest.
More professionals these days are pursuing mentoring to advance their careers. Whether you are a mentor or a mentee, these partnerships can benefit your career.
What Is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development. The “mentor” is usually an experienced and knowledgeable person who shares knowledge, experience, and advice with a less experienced person, or “mentee.” Mentors do not have to be more senior than the people they mentor. What matters most is that mentors have the experience that mentees can learn from.
Mentors support and encourage their mentees by offering suggestions and knowledge. The goal is to help mentees improve their skills and advance their careers.
What do I enjoy as a Mentor?
I am often asked what do I gain as a mentor by volunteering my time. It has helped me on a personal and professional level in many ways.
- It helps me develop my abilities to motivate and encourage others. This can help us become better leaders, employees, and team members.
- Improve my communication skills. We often need to communicate with mentee who come from a different background or environment. It can force me to find a way to communicate to have a successful outcome.
- We often work on a problem together and I learn from my mentees as much I share with them. I gain a fresh perspective on things and learn a new way of thinking.
- Transferring knowledge is a powerful tool for growth. When I found one of my mentees was going through exactly the same challenges as I did, I had a “light bulb” moment. I realized that, some of the things, I did to handle my situation, could be useful tips for another person.
- Continuous learning and improvement are required. The biggest challenge is to keep myself up to date with the latest trends in HR. Sometimes I am asked about concepts and ideas that are new to me. Unless I keep myself up to date, it is difficult to deliver and meet the expectations.
- It can be very fulfilling to know that I have contributed to someone’s growth and development. Seeing my mentee succeed as a result of my input is a reward in itself.
What benefits can a Mentee expect?
- Mentors can offer valuable insight into what works and what does not in a particular situation. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can expect to learn a more effective ways of doing things or handling situations. Or, you might already know what to do, but want a second opinion and your mentor can be excellent support for that.
- Mentors can help you identify the skills and expertise you need to succeed. They may teach you what you need to know or tell you where to go for the information you need.
- Like your mentor, you may also learn to communicate effectively, which can further help you at work.
- Mentors can introduce you to their network. They can help you expand your existing network of personal and professional contacts. They can also guide you on the best ways to build and expand your network.
- A mentor helps you stay focused and on track in your career through advice, skills development, networking, and so on.
- Some points to remember
- Like any other relationship, mentoring needs commitment from both parties involved to make it successful. Get to know each other – the stories, the journeys so far. Determine what you are looking for from this partnership. Set clear expectations and ground rules for meetings, sharing information, and response time. Be prepared for homework and be available and come prepared for the meeting.
- Also, share feedback to check if you are meeting the expectations. The feedback helps me understand what works and what does not.
- Being a mentor widens our horizon of interactions and teaches us to share and learn. If you have been helped and guided by mentors in the past, it is your opportunity to pay it forward.
- If you need help with your policies and processes, please contact us for a free consultation.